The aura of invincibility around Carlos Alcaraz, which was once growing stronger by day, has faded a bit in recent weeks. And yet the fact remains that the 19-year-old Spaniard is the most exciting prospect, and perhaps even most exciting player, on the men's tour. He's demonstrating that once again at this year's US Open.
Alcaraz breezed into the fourth round on Saturday after defeating unranked American Jenson Brooksby in straight sets: 6-3, 6-3, 6-3. It was Alcaraz's best performance of the Open, and it represented the kind of match that's going to become more routine for players like Brooksby as Alcaraz continues his ascent. You say a prayer and successfully avoid Nadal and Djokovic (location dependent), only to realize that you're just food for this new kid who plays with such power that he blows his shoes open on the court.
Brooksby's day wasn't a total loss, though. Before Alcaraz politely but firmly ushered him off the court for good, he met Brooksby in a scintillating rally that may end up being something of a career highlight for the American.
That rally helped spark a nice little run for Brooksby that saw him go up 3-0 in the third set. Alcaraz proceeded to win six straight games. Thanks for playing.